Tag Archives: connecting with your spouse/partner

Too stressed to have sex?

Cleaning out your inbox for your work email takes a bit of time, especially when you let things pile up. (Whoops!)

During this clean-up process, I came across an email thread between a working mother friend and me. The email message was from March, and you’re probably wondering why I would still have that in my inbox. Well, a big chunk of the thread was about sex.

My friend, let’s call her Sally, sent me a link to a blog post entitled New Study: Working Parents Too Stressed to Have Sex.

What? Yes, I was going to have to read this post right away.

Sally and I both agreed as working mothers we are both stretched and sometimes wearily look at our task lists. Neither of us is overly concerned about the state of our houses. Neat is good, immaculate is overrated – so we feel liberated in not keeping that front going. Sally and I live in different states and we have leaned on each other by sending text messages to help get us to the gym and applying some friendly peer pressure.

We both have leadership positions in our work organizations, and Sally feels a tad bit more stressed than I do in this area because she’s in a male-dominated field. To combat this, Sally has contracted me to do some leadership coaching.

We agreed that sometimes we are overly plugged into work through technology, so we have been encouraging each other to have some “unplugged” downtime – such as dinner, exercise time, time out with friends, wooing the spouse moments,  cocktail hour, and bath/story time.

As we discussed this blog post, we were both patting ourselves on the back for being open and honest about the aforementioned challenges. We were thrilled neither of us were trying to wear a super-working-mother cape because that is not who we are trying to be. We want as much work/life balance as possible, thriving families, girls’ nights out, and healthy relationships with our respective spouses.

Then Sally went back to this section from the article:

“This survey finds that despite successful careers, our work is impacting our personal lives in unhealthy ways.  Working moms, particularly those with young children, are exhausted and stressed by a workday that for many never ends because we are tethered to technology 24/7,” Sachs said. “It’s no surprise that moms who are toting buzzing BlackBerries in their bags chock full of work emails, can feel tapped out and not eager for sex. Stress kills the libido.”  

Sally said to me,

“I’m not sure if I’m getting a gold medal in the bedroom.”

My response,

“Who said we needed to be Olympians in that area?”

This moved our email discussion to childcare challenges and how that does play into the on and off button of our libidos.

Sally has a full-time nanny and I have a full-time granny nanny (my mother-in-law). Sally does worry about her nanny getting sick or getting a better offer to work with another family. I have brief moments of worry that my mother-in-law may run off with a leather-clad motorcycle rider, but I’m sure she’d give me proper notice before she would leave her grandchildren.

If one of Sally’s children (she has two) is sick, Sally typically misses work because her husband is a key player in his organization, so it’s difficult for him to get away. If one of my kids is sick, my mother-in-law usually takes care of everything because (1) she ran an in-home daycare for many years, (2) she used to be an EMT (3) she raised three of her own kids and she knows exactly what to do, and (4) she is invested in helping my husband and me raise our children and not have to worry about childcare while we are at work.

Sally said she has considered having her own mother be a granny nanny, but she knows they could not live in the same house. I totally get that. I also know that multigenerational living is hard work and depending on how healthy that living arrangement is, a couple may or may not be going for the gold in the bedroom.

The wrap-up to my email thread with Sally ended with me saying, “Hey, you’ve got to set your own libido goals. Shoot for a realistic target and go for it. Don’t listen to a study to tell you how often you should be having relations with your husband.”

Sally’s response,

“So you’re saying I should take up archery?”

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Setting clear intentions

It has been one hot and rainy summer in Colorado. Autumn is my favorite season and I’m glad it is on the way – because I need a bit of relief from the heat.

What is a bit sad though, with autumn’s arrival, is the departure of all the great daylight, specifically after work hours.

Hubby and I are currently taking advantage of the sun’s current late bedtime. We like to take an evening stroll, just the two of us – to reconnect our marriage dots. Our rules, during this 20-to-30 minute stroll are:

  • No talk about work
  • Share at least one dream – or how you are moving closer to that dream
  • Share one thing that is working well in our multigenerational family – and one that needs improvement
  • Breathe deeply
  • Hold hands – for as long as possible

Last night’s walk was closer to 30 minutes and for whatever reason, hubby and I were discussing the power of setting intentions. We talked about how we both feel a surge of good energy when we send a clear message to ourselves about how we want our work day, evening at home, family outing, downtime, etc…to go. We agreed that sharing these intentions with other, our kids, and my mother-in-law is a great way to keep communication clear and to open ourselves up to support within our nest. We also agreed sharing these intentions holds us accountable and we are setting a good example for our kids.

Since I’ve recently returned to work, after a month long vacation, I have set the intention to get enough sleep. That means I need to be clear about what I can get done at work and how much work I need to bring home. I also need to be clear about making sure exercising doesn’t get bumped off my schedule because lately, that’s been the first thing to go.

I did talk to my mother-in-law about my wellness intentions and told her that I would be leaving the house earlier on certain days or coming home later so that I could workout. She thought that was a good idea – so it’s out there and I need to take that step. I’ve also shared this wellness intention with my children and I’ve asked them to reach out to their father or my mother-in-law if they need something and while I’m working out in our home. They gave me some long sighs, but then agreed once I explained I need to take good care of myself in order to take good care of them.

As hubby and I were returning from our walk, and feeling energized by our intention chat, we ran into our neighbors who have a one-year-old daughter. We chatted about their summer vacation, if we had or had not met the new family that moved into our neighborhood, and then they wanted to know how we were on a walk – alone – without the kids.

Hubby casually mentioned his mother was in the house with the kids and our neighbors gave us a look of longing because as working parents, with a young baby, they would love to have a granny nanny too. I smiled and said,

“If you really want a multigenerational set-up similar to ours, then be clear and set an intention.”

Our neighbor said he would get right on that.

How often do you set a clear intention for yourself? What process or steps do you use?

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